asks: "The other day I finally took the time to watch Starship Exeter, previously reported on Slashdot. Coincidentally, I also revisited the BBC's excellent radio adaptation of The Lord Of The Rings, following the hype caused by the recent movies.
The two of these got me thinking: while _Exeter_ was clearly a huge effort, it looks like they had a lot of fun making it. In many ways they are scratching the same sort of itch that generates free software. So what about audio drama? The technology needed to produce it is freely available, things like Ardour and Csound. So is it possible to produce an audio drama based on free texts such as those from Project Gutenberg in a distributed fashion, with contributers from all across the Net, just like with software? Would they even be useful as an introduction to classic fiction or just as pure entertainment?"
"While the technology exists to cut a play together, I see several possible problems:
I think the possibilities are interesting, if people can be gathered together to actually do it. Imagine the subtle horror of Poe's The Cask Of Amontillado, or the adventure of Stevenson's Treasure Island, all staying as faithful to the book as possible, without Hollywood's story-twisting and sensationalism spoiling it all.
- High-quality audio recording equipment is expensive, and homes are not ideal environments. Can source material of sufficiently good quality be generated without professional facilities?
- Since the actors could be widely separated, can they act in isolation in a sufficiently convincing manner that they can be cut together later, in the same way that film actors must pretend that the special effects exist during shooting?
- Are there good (royalty-)free sound effect libraries available?
It would need to be a real community effort - I fancy that I could produce a passable script adaptation of a book and help with the audio production and sound effects, but I'm no actor, nor do I have equipment at home that even approaches what would be required. What about it?"